For a decade, Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns won more games than almost any other program in the country.
It was the inability to meet those lofty expectations over the last four years that pushed Brown to resign after 16 years, ending an era that included the national championship following the 2005 season.
“The standard is really high here,” Brown said Sunday at a campus news conference to explain his decision. “We set a standard at this place. You’d better win all of them. I understand that. … The standard is really high here and I’m proud of being part of setting that standard.”
From 2000-09, Brown’s teams averaged more than 10 wins a season, captured two Big 12 titles, won a national title and played for another. But the program dipped sharply to 5-7 in 2010, Brown’s only losing season, and the Longhorns have lost at least four games for four consecutive years. Brown said he knew that wasn’t good enough. It was time to find a new coach to guide the Longhorns back among the national elite and heal a fractured fan base that had grown impatient. His final game will be the Dec. 30 Alamo Bowl against Oregon.
Brown was under contract until 2020 with a salary at more than $5 million per year. He will stay on as a special consultant to President Bill Powers, a role that his current contract stipulates would pay him up to $500,000. Details of any further compensation for Brown were not immediately available.
Texas had expected a return to championship form this season, but a 1-2 start ignited months of speculation that Brown would retire or be forced out. Texas rallied with six straight wins, then dropped two of its last three games. A chance to win the Big 12 title was lost to Baylor in the finale.
Brown met with Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson on Friday to discuss his future. Brown said both told him he could stay, but after sleeping on it Friday night and talking it over with his wife, he decided it was the right time to resign.
“I felt like I could stay,” Brown said. “I really felt like it wasn’t best for the university to stay.”
Army fires Ellerson
Army has fired coach Rich Ellerson after five seasons at West Point and no victories against Navy.
Army athletic director Boo Corrigan says Ellerson was notified that he would not be retained Sunday night, about 24 hours after the Black Knights (3-9) finished the season with a 34-7 loss to Navy.
Ellerson went 20-41 at the U.S. Military Academy and couldn’t snap the Black Knights’ losing streak against their most important rival. The Midshipmen have won 12 straight in the series, the longest streak by either side.
NDSU picks Klieman
North Dakota State officials announced that Chris Klieman will be taking over for Craig Bohl, the most successful football coach in school history. Bohl is leaving for Wyoming.
Klieman, 47, is completing his third season as an assistant coach with the Bison, the last two as defensive coordinator. He previously served as an assistant coach for nine years at Northern Iowa.